Jose Mari Chan: King of Christmas Carols
December 5th, 2017
Jose Mari Chan was born in Iloilo City on March 11, 1945. Chan had the natural talent for music since his childhood. In fact, his skills was further developed during his high school days at St. Clement’s in Iloilo where learned about rhyme and meter. He graduated with a degree of Bachelor in Economics at Ateneo de Manila University. Chan managed to balance his studies and his passion for music.
In 1966, he first appeared as an emcee on ABS-CBN’s teenage musical show “9 teeners”. Aside from being an emcee, he also got the chance to sing some of songs on the television. A year later, he was able to release his first hit single ‘Afterglow’ despite the dominance of foreign musicians. The success of ‘Afterglow’ caught the attention of Dyna Records which soon released his first album in 1968, ‘Deep in My Heart’ which became a number one hit all over the country.
In 1973, Jose Mari Chan’s second album, ‘Can We Just Stop And Talk a While’ was released. He also represented the country in the Yamaha World Popular Song Festival in Tokyo with the title track.
‘Can We Just Stop And Talk a While’ was followed by two more studio albums ‘Afterthoughts’ in ’74 and ‘Here And Now’ in ’75.
Jose Mari Chan moved to New York in 1975 and stayed there for 11 years to manage his sugar trading business while continuing to write songs for different artists in the Philippines.
In 1985, ‘A Golden Collection’ a compilation of Jose Mari Chan’s recorded hits since 1967 was released. The compilation album was one of the first albums to be released in CD format in the country with a revised track list and additional new hit songs.
In the early 90’s, Jose Mari Chan’s ‘Constant Change’ album was released and was able to win multiple awards. It won ‘Album of the Year’ with the carrier single ‘Beautiful Girl’ as Best Produced Record of the Year from Awit Awards. ‘Can’t We Start Over Again’, ‘Please Be Careful With My Heart’ duet with Asia’s songbird Regine Velasquez, ‘My Girl, My Woman, My friend’ with Janet Basco also became a big hit.
It was also the same year when Jose Mari Chan released his first Christmas album, ‘Christmas In Our Hearts’ reached triple platinum in sales since its release. The album eventually became the unprecedented holder of the Double Diamond Record Award from the music industry. The title track ‘Christmas In Our Hearts’ has won Best Christmas Recording as well as Best Album Package in the Awit Awards.
Jose Mari is married to May Ann Ansaldo and has five children, whom of which they inherited their musical talent from.